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07/04/2016

Major Bangor housing scheme torpedoed by Welsh language concerns

Words: Roger Milne
Bangor, Wales

Members of the Gwynedd County Council planning committee have stuck to their guns and refused a 366-home scheme in Bangor. They say it breached national and local policy on Welsh language issues.

Its decision runs counter to the advice of planning officers, who warned members that the authority risked “substantial financial costs” if the plans were refused.

The committee had rejected developer Morbaine’s outline proposals earmarked for a 14.3 hectare site formerly occupied by the Bangor University research department late last year (14 December).

Local residents raised concerns about the impact on local infrastructure as well as the Welsh language.

Following a “cooling-off” period the scheme was reconsidered this week, but once again members rejected it.

Officials told the committee that the site was designated for housing under the development plan and reiterated their stance that the information and evidence supplied by the developer indicated that there would be no substantial impact on the Welsh language as a result of the scheme.

The committee gave its reason for rejecting the plan in these terms: “The local planning authority has not been fully persuaded that the submitted information proves that there will not be a detrimental effect on the Welsh language and it is therefore considered that the application does not comply with the requirements of policies A2 and A3 of the Gwynedd Unitary Development Plan, SPG: Planning and the Welsh Language (November 2009) and National policy and guidance contained in TAN 20: Planning and the Welsh Language and within paragraph 4.13 of Planning Policy Wales (Edition 8, January 2016)”.

Image credit | iStock

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